(First off, I need to remind you all how difficult it is to type out the word narcissist. OK, difficult is a strong word–it’s more that the letter “s” is so frequented that it becomes easy to slur them all together: narcissisisisisisistisssst.)
That being said, if you are an active tweeter and Facebooker, you might be a narcissist. Or at least that’s a statement a study from the University of Michigan is supporting. It found that people who frequent social media are actually fueling their own narcissistic tendencies. (Shocker…)
Elliot Panek, Yioryos Nardis and Sara Konrath published their study results in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. The study analyzed how much time was spent each day on social media, and how often the subjects posted to Twitter and Facebook each day. Each of the participants were surveyed about their normal social media use and personality traits, as well. Among the participants were 93 adults and 486 college undergraduates, who had an average age of 35.
Researchers found that young adult participants with a high Twitter usage rate scored higher in a measure of certain types of narcissism, whose traits include
manipulativeness (if it wasn’t a word before, it is now), exhibitionism, and superiority.
Young people may over-evaluate the importance of their own opinions,” communication studies doctorate and researcher Panek said in the statement. “Through Twitter, they’re trying to broaden their social circles and broadcast their views about a wide range of topics and issues.”
(P.S. Here is a cool story to tweet about with a bunch of hashtags: Twitter and Facebook Making Major Changes).
Like, Facebook Likes
When the researchers turned their attention to the middle-aged adult narcissists, they found this group posts status updates frequently to Facebook as a way to gain approval from their peers. “It’s about curating your own image, how you are seen, and also checking on how others respond to this image,” Panek said. “Middle-aged adults usually have already formed their social selves, and they use social media to gain approval from those who are already in their social circles.”
The University of Michigan was quick to point out that there was no causal effect observed between high social media usage and narcissism. They simply explored the relationship between the two (kind of like the relationship between smoking and cancer, obesity and T.V., and violence and video games).
OMG, Am I A #Narcissist?
What do you think about this study? Do you think there is a relationship between how much you use social media and traits of narcissism? Does that make you a narcissist?
Make sure you tweet this article and post it to Facebook. Then make sure to check to see how many “likes” and “retweets” it gets. Then feel the appropriate amount of pride or shame depending on the response your updates garner–just know that I did my job, because this story is awesomely awesome (and attractive).